Switching South to North

Are you a switch rod enthusiast? Want to use your switch in Patagonia?

We’ll give you two ideal spots to go and show you how to combine them and save on travel. Read on!

Double handed fishing in Patagonia is mostly done in Tierra del Fuego and Santa Cruz provinces where a 8wt 13-14ft double handed spey is the go-to rod for Sea Run Brown Trout on the Rio Grande and Rio Gallegos. However, you could certainly use a 8wt, 12-13ft switch rod on these waters as well. On the upper middle section of the Rio Grande, particularly at San Jose Lodge, a shorter switch rod is actually better than a traditional spey rod because the river is relatively narrow. While you could just use a single handed 8wt at San Jose, a switch gives you the versatility of making a longer cast when you find yourself in a wider than average pool or if the wind picks up.

For trout fishing, there are many rivers where a switch rod would come in handy, but the # 1 trout river in Patagonia to use a switch is the Middle Limay River (aka Limay Medio.)   (Ask us WHY  we’d only recommend Limay River Ranch  for lodging on this river.)  This is a wide tailwater with braided channels that holds some incredibly large and allusive Brown Trout, especially in the fall. Most of these larger fish are located in the wide pools of the main channels and an angler needs a long cast and cover the entire pool methodically to increase their chances of hooking into one of these trophy fish. The region can be windy which means a switch rod is only going to make fishing easier and more enjoyable on those windy days.  The  7wt, 12ft Sage X Spey is a fast action rod and perfect for the Middle Limay River.

Most anglers are realizing that one week in Patagonia is not enough.

With the amount of energy required to travel to Patagonia, you get more value when fishing two weeks then just one. If you are a switch enthusiast looking for two weeks, you’d probably consider one week of Sea Runs and one week of fall Browns on the Middle Limay. Ideal as this combo is, one needed to make compromises regarding optimal time.  The traditional peak season for Sea Runs is mid Jan – mid Mar but the best season to target the fall Brown Trout on the Middle Limay River is really late March and April. The peak seasons just don’t overlap well.

Problem Solved!  That challenge was mitigated when San Jose Lodge decided to open its doors a couple seasons ago. Peak season at San Jose starts in March because the Sea Run Browns need extra time to arrive (and yes, most of those March fish are chromers.) So now, you can book a late March peak week on the Rio Grande at San Jose Lodge and then fly north to swing flies for big migratory Browns on the Middle Limay River at Limay River Ranch.

That’s two awesome weeks of big Patagonia trout on the swing – back to back.

You can learn more about these two lodges using the links above so we won’t go into lodge details here.

Travel logistics for this lodge combo are fairly simple, you’ll fly Buenos Aires, then to Ushuaia and drive 3 hours to San Jose. After your week at San Jose, you’d fly back to Buenos Aires and then to either Neuquén, Bariloche or San Martin Airports, all the same day. After two weeks of swinging flies, you’d fly back to Buenos Aires and home.

FFP Special – Book these two lodges back to back before Nov 1, 2023 and we’ll cover the two flights you’ll need to get from San Jose to Limay River Ranch. (2 anglers min)

  Contact us to learn more.  jcampa@flyfishingpatagonia.com 434-249-1783

Sea Trout at San Jose Lodge

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